Jesus told His followers that if they prayed for anything in His name, He would do it for them. Wow – anything? What a great promise to cling to when we need or want something. But if we understood what it really means to pray “in Jesus’ name”, we might not be so quick to pray for everything we want. Most of us know that this is not a magic formula to get God to give us what we desire or a ritualistic phrase to make prayer “work”.
The Bible says the name of Jesus stands above every other name. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Just think about how powerful Jesus’ name must be!
Why would Jesus tell His followers that they could use His name when going before God in prayer? Why would He give people authority to pray in His name….the most powerful name that exists anywhere?
As Christians and followers of the Lord Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. We don’t go before God on our own merit, but we approach God with confidence in the name of Jesus. If we pray in Jesus’ name, we are praying for what Jesus would pray if He were standing right here. The Holy Spirit helps us to desire and pray for God’s will to be done. This is God’s powerful way of using us, working through us, to accomplish His work on earth.
We pray in Jesus’ name….
For God’s Glory
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” John 14:13-14
When I pray “in Jesus’ name”, I find I’m much more careful about what I ask for in prayer. Is what I’m praying for really something that will bring God glory? Sometimes my answer to that question causes me to change my prayers!
For His Sake
I’ve also added… “for Jesus’ sake” to the end of my prayers. For the “sake” of someone means for their “cause or purpose”. That’s exactly what I want! I want my prayers to further God’s cause or purpose in my life or in the life of another person.
For our Joy
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24
When I experience answered prayer, I’m so happy that God gave me what I asked. But even if God doesn’t answer my prayer in the way I want, my joy is still full and complete knowing that God is in control and has a better plan than I can even imagine.
Approaching God through prayer “in Jesus’ name” is powerful. What an amazing privilege God has given us through His son, Jesus Christ!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10